Lately I feel like a pinball -- I work on whatever it is I'm working on until I get a letter, an e-mail or a heart palpitation telling me I'd better hurry up and work on something else. In other words, I've got way more to worry about lately than I can deal with (but this nice bottle of Italian Red, block of Gruyere and box of Rosemary crackers are helping quite a bit - at least for now).
First Cynthia Samuels clued me in that CNN is asking for input about the state of our kids' schools -- I understand the hope is that the Obama administration is going to fix education (like all the administrations before him). Oh stop, I sound crabby - it's been a long day. Seriously, if I had time and knew how to make videos, I would love to be part of this important conversation, so check it out and participate if you can!
Then I was not-so-gently reminded that I'd forgotten to blog and as I wondered what exactly I was going to write about (I don't suppose you're interested in city sign permit fees or how many sinks a coffee shop needs in order to be allowed to slice a lemon) -- like manna from heaven, I got this anonymous comment in my inbox:
I think it is appalling you give your child coffee.
Now, as many of you know, often blogging is about sharing the parts of ourselves that are most vulnerable -- putting our parenting insecurities out there for all to scrutinize and so on. And when you do that and you get a bitchy anonymous comment it can really hurt, because the comment is close to home and digs at something you do (or don't) that you already feel uneasy about. I suppose Anonymous was trying to do that to me (for God knows what reason random people enjoy making strangers feel badly about themselves, but anyway) -- but I just had to laugh because I thought -- APPALLING? Half a teaspoon of espresso in a glass of milk is an APPALLING drink for a kid - really?
And then I just wanted to ask Anonymous -- what adjective would you use if I'd given him bleach to drink? Toilet water? Dog piss? I mean, get a grip.
I was reminded of a girl I once knew who told me her biggest nightmare was the thought of having a spider land on her head. I'm not judging her -- lucky her, she was young and she'd had a very very nice life thus far. But really, some of us have (and have already lived) much bigger nightmares than that. So I guess I could be a compassionate Buddhist and be glad to know that Anonymous has had such a perfect life that it can't imagine anything worse than a pampered middle class American boy having a sip of espresso in his mother's coffee shop. The horror!
And then I wondered if Anonymous thinks it's appalling when children routinely drink soda pop-- which my kids hardly even know exists (while we're on the subject, most of my family members are kind of appalled that I don't ever let my kids drink soda pop). How about caffeine-laden Easter chocolate -- should I confess that my kids had Easter candy too or will that necessitate a call to CPS?
Some day my childen will be adults and they will tell me all the appalling things I did to them as their loving, devoted and imperfect mother -- and I promise to listen and to take it like a womyn. In the meantime, a word to those who try to be hurtful, but don't have the balls to even say who they are -- it will work better if you find a parenting issue about which I lack confidence, my kids' ultra healthy abundant diet just isn't one of them. But on behalf of mothers who do waste time fretting about that, find a less appalling passtime.
Last but not least, did you know that I almost share a birthday with Gloria Steinem? I do! One day off - do you think that makes me special? Probably not -- maybe I'll criticize my mother for giving birth to me a day too late. Here's to Gloria and to all who commit outrageous acts!